Business Achievement: Finance

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Suniva (Norcross, Ga.) for raising one of the largest funding private funding rounds of the year and expanding production capacity. Founded in 2007 to bring advanced processing and semiconductor design techniques to solar cell manufacturing, Suniva had raised over $55 million in private funding after one year. Throughout 2009, Suniva continued upon its breakneck pace, raising an additional $75 million and expanding production by a factor of three. Suniva says it currently holds $1 billion in sales orders from European and Asian PV module manufacturers and that its performance demonstrates that a U.S.-based company can manufacture domestically while maintaining its edge in a competitive global industry.

Solyndra, Inc. (Fremont, Calif.) for achieving several key milestones in the development of its cylindrical PV technology for commercial rooftops. Most notably, Solyndra and the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) finalized in December a guarantee for a $535 million loan to help finance the construction of the first phase of Solyndra's new manufacturing plant. The loan guarantee, reportedly the first issued under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) and Title XVII of the Energy Policy Act of 2005, is expected to provide debt financing for about 73% of the construction costs for the plant, which has a planned capacity of 500 MW per year. In May, Solyndra and SunConnex B.V. (Amsterdam, Netherlands) signed a $189 million contract whereby Solyndra will supply SunConnex with solar panels over the next five years. This deal was followed in July by the signing of a long-term, $238 million sales contract with solar integrator Umwelt-Sonne-Energie GmbH (Germany) for the supply of solar PV systems. In December, Solyndra filed a registration statement with the Securities and Exchange Commission for a proposed initial public offering IPO of common stock.